This was a movie that piqued my interest when it was first announced and it being available to watch on Crunchyroll was also a nice treat. Question is whether the movie is worth watching? Let us take a look at Garakowa: Restore the World.
Alternate Title: Glass no Hana to Kowasu Sekai
Genres: Drama, Science Fiction
Running time: 66 minutes.
Plot Summary: A floating space without gravity where an infinite number of lights shine in different colors: The “Box of Wisdom.” Inside of this box, there are multiple worlds, multiple timelines, and there used to be many different people. This is where Dual and Dorothy were fighting with enemies called “Viruses.” Worlds infected by viruses must be erased. That is the duty, the job of these girls. However, one day, Dual and Dorothy feel the presence of a new Virus. Arriving at the scene, they see a girl being attacked by Viruses. After saving the girl, the duo wait for her to awaken so they can ask who she is, where she came from, and where she is going. Finally, when the girl opened her eyes, she gave her name, Remo, and whispered only one sentence… “I must return to the flower patch…”
To put it simply Garakowa is a very pretty movie that crammed an idea for a 12-episode anime into 60+ minutes. In that regard it did a good job because after finishing the movie I wanted to see a concept like this fleshed out more in a 12-episode show. What we got from the movie itself though was solid.
On the surface it is a sci-fi flick about two anti-virus software in the shape of magical girls who combat monstrous creatures called “Viruses”. The battles themselves are short and to the point, not being the actual highlight of the movie. They are part of it but not the best parts. What the movie is really about, besides having three cute girls chilling and doing cute things, is a conversation piece about existence, bringing up topics such as the difference between reality and fiction, what it means to feel, whether inorganic or digital beings can feel, among other topics. These topics and more are what move the plot forward and the setup for the more dramatic moments in the movie and twists. There is little else to say about the movie beyond that. Perhaps the topics will intrigue people into having interesting conversations regarding emotions and the meaning of existence. Other than that it is a movie with occasional fights against monsters, girls conversing reasonably deep topics, chilling, going through dramatic moments capped by a tense climax.
As mentioned above the animation quality is beautiful and the soundtrack’s neat. If nothing else the movie is a visual treat worth watching for that alone. Obviously I am not saying the movie would not be as good if it did not look pretty as it is good but visually it is splendid and worth mentioning.
The three leads include the following. Dual, the serious girl who learns to open up more. Dorothy, the hothead who lightens up and Remo, the cute girl who is the driving force behind the movie’s plot and the one who will have a huge impact in the anti-virus software’s lives.
Overall Garakowa is a fun, simple movie on the surface but somewhat complex deep down. It could have benefited far more had it been a 12-episode show but as it stands it is a solid, visually appealing romp. Recommended to animeniacs who enjoy magical girl media with interesting conversation topics.